Intelligence Amplification

by Alex Bates

Augmented Mind

Bates prefers the term Intelligence Augmentation (IA). The major premise is that humans and computers form a symbiotic entity that’s far more powerful than either one separately. What humans are good at, computers are not and vice versa.

The concept of a ‘thought interface’ is explored. This would be a greatly integrated form of HCI that makes the keyboard and mouse obsolete.

Bates argues that IA could provide several major benefits. Research (in all areas) could be sped up by symbiotic human-machine intelligence. The stresses on society of ever-increasing automation might be mitigated if a whole new work sector opened up – namely providing the human side of augmented intelligence. The danger of dystopian, control-by-computer societies would be lessened because IA would be better at spotting, identifying, and countering such threats. By narrowing the gulf between the two sides, fear may give way to hope.


by Jeff Hawkins

foreword by
Richard Dawkins

A Thousand Brains: A New Theory of Intelligence

Before Numenta, before Handspring, before Palm, Jeff Hawkins would walk around with a small block of wood in his shirt pocket. Whenever an idea or a problem arose, he’d pull out the block and consider it as an imaginary computer. He did this to learn how and why he might use a personal intelligence amplifier. After thinking about it long enough, he created the Palm Pilot. That is the essence of quarkiness.

This book explores the concept of intelligence as a model of models.